Most peanut butter cookies are chewy. Some are softer than others, the but majority retain a distinct chew to them even days after baking. I enjoy a good chewy peanut butter cookie, but there are times when I want something crispier. These Crispy Salted Peanut Butter Cookies are some of the most delicious peanut butter cookies I’ve had to date – and their light, crispy texture is so addictive that I’ll probably skip the chewier cookies for quite some time.
The keys to making these cookies crispy are to use white sugar and to cut down on the amount of flour in the dough. Many peanut butter cookies use brown sugar, which adds both flavor and additional moisture to the cookies and helps to create a chewier cookie. White sugar isn’t necessarily a guarantee of getting a crispier cookie, but it can help to build a slightly drier dough. I don’t press these cookies down with a fork to give them the same cross-hatch look that many larger peanut butter cookies have because it compressed the cookie enough that you lose some of the light, airy crumb that the cookies have when they are not compressed. Feel free to stamp them with a pound sign if you want to, but I recommend skipping it.
The cookies have an excellent peanut butter flavor and a great balance of salty and sweet, thanks to a sprinkling of coarse salt that is put on top just before baking. They are not only crispy, but they are so light that they melt in your mouth. I make these cookies a bit smaller than I make my usual peanut butter cookies, which make them perfect for snacking. They should be crisp by the time they have cooled completely after baking. They will stay nice and crisp for several days as long as they are stored in an airtight container.
Crispy Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (national brand)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, approximately
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, then gradually incorporate the flour mixture on low speed until the dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Shape dough into 1/2-inch balls (teaspoon-sized balls) and arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2-inches between cookies to allow for them to spread. Sprinkle cookies with coarse sea salt.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are very lightly browned and set around the edge. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes (cookies may fall slightly as they cool), then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 60 cookies.
*Note: These cookies are smaller than some peanut butter cookies, so the recipe makes quite a large batch.